This is a great family craft because everyone can do it. Small children will have fun with it because often they are learning how to set the table, how to help out at mealtime. Everybody has their own chair at the dinner table (or the kitchen table in most houses…). Children can make placemats for the whole family, designing them with some of the materials to look similar in design so that they match each other.

For this project you will need:

white vinyl placemats
clear contact paper
stick-on alphabet letters
magazines (that will show families and mealtimes. )
also magazines that have beautiful pictures of animals and nature.
white 8 ½” x 11″ paper to draw on
markers or crayons
glue sticks

Most children will be very pleased with the idea of creating a placemat with their name on it. Let them pick out the letters or draw their name on a piece of paper. Depending on the size of the placemat, letters should be about 2″ tall.

Give your child the magazines to look through and find pictures of foods they like or just scenes they like. A child who loves animals may be happiest with a placemat covered with animal pictures. Another child may like nature scenes like the ocean or the mountains. Another idea is to use copies of family photos. You can also have your child draw pictures to put on their placemat.

Cut out the pictures (assist if needed). Arrange pictures on placemat first without glue, seeing where you like them best. Once your child likes the placement of the pictures, put them on the placemat using your gluestick.

Allow the placemat to dry for several hours. Then cover the placemat with clear contact paper. Measure the contact paper so that it is just slightly smaller than the placemat, by about 1/4″ on each side. This will help it stay in place.

These placemats will now clean off with any damp sponge and you can use gentle dish detergent on them if needed. It’s dinnertime!


Abigail Beal a.k.a. “the Gift-wrap Goddess” teaches gift wrap in suburban New York. She is the author of 2 ezines: GiftWrapGoddessWraps and CreativeCraftsTeachers. To subscribe:

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